NeoCon 2019 puts emphasis on rapidly growing hospitality design and furnishings
CHICAGO - Now in its 51st edition, NeoCon, the world’s leading platform for commercial design, continues to expand as the lines between various disciplines increasingly blur and synergies emerge. Held from June 10–12 at the Mart, the 2019 show will feature an
increased focus on hospitality design through its educational programming, as well as the hundreds of exhibitor product launches that address the needs of the vertical market.
Complemented by exciting off-site tours, NeoCon will be a great resource for designers and architects in the hospitality sector and beyond.
From international restaurants, hotels, and airport lounges, to nightclubs, the work of three of this year’s keynote speakers, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman & Williams Buildings and Interiors, and Ilse Crawford of Studioilse, demonstrates the depth, breadth, and
reach of hospitality projects, as well as illustrates NeoCon's commitment to supporting the growing sector.
The show’s rich conference program explores everything from how the scope of hospitality projects has expanded beyond conventional boundaries, prompting designers to draw on fields like psychology and sociology, to how best to balance authenticity and relevance when tackling historic preservation of iconic hospitality properties.
On Monday, June 10th, Cheryl Durst, Hon. FIIDA, CEO and executive vice-president, International Interior Design Association, IIDA, will explore “What Clients Want: Essential Design Conversations (M107)” with Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA, regional managing principal, Gensler and Neil Schneider, IIDA, design director, IA Interior Architects. The seminar will explore the challenges of designing today’s hospitality spaces and highlight key projects that exemplify what clients truly want.
A session on “Approaching Historic Preservation with Authenticity in Hospitality Design (T214)” will also be offered on Tuesday, presented by Lisa Haude, ASID, RID, NCIDQ, president, Paradigm Design Group. Haude will address the topic by speaking to her experience designing historic and iconic hospitality properties in the U.S., from the South in New Orleans and Florida, to the East Coast in Maine.
New off-site designer-led tours add a dynamic, experiential component to the programming and products at the 2019 edition. Some of Chicago’s latest and most innovative spaces are a part of NeoCon and IIDA’s Inside Design program. Tours include an insider look at TAO Chicago, led by the Rockwell Group team credited for designing the trendy restaurant and a guided tour of the Hotel Essex, led by The Gettys Group, the creative force behind the stunning hotel project.
Details and registration for Inside Design tours will be available at the end of April.
The focus on hospitality is carried throughout the many innovative solutions on display at the show. Over 300 NeoCon exhibitors will offer hospitality-minded products, such as Sossego Design, whose Tereza chair was recently specified in the trendy new Bobby Hotel in Nashville, as well as Andreu World, whose Alya, Flex and Ronda designs can be found in the acclaimed Michelin-starred Dos Cielos restaurant in Madrid.
From textiles, flooring, seating and wallcoverings, to lighting, acoustical solutions, and indoor/outdoor products, there will be a comprehensive range of offerings from brands with solutions suitable for hospitality including Arper, Style Library, Bentley, BuzziSpace, Chilewich, Moore & Giles, Brentano, NappaTile, Sandler Seating, Diesco, Davis, Decca, Maya Romanoff, Martin Brattrud, CF Group, Brown Jordan, Humanscale, HBF, Gabby (Summer Classics), Wolf-Gordon, Sunbrella Contract, and hundreds more on the 7th Floor Exhibit Hall and throughout the Mart.
NeoCon is open to trade, media, C-Suite executives and other industry-related professionals. Registration is available online at 

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.